I have a couple of fittings with 3x E14 bulbs in each. Each of the fittings is labelled with a max of 4w for LED.

Problem is, I’d like to upgrade to Philips Hue, which only offer 6w.

I didn’t spot this until I’d already replaced them all, so I switched it on briefly anyway (risk-taker that I am) and all seemed well, despite overall load being 6w more than the theoretical max.

So, what’s the risk of leaving them plugged in? Shortened life of the fixture? Issues with my electrics more generally? Circuit being tripped periodically? House burning down?

Any advice appreciated!

  • 1
    You haven't said what the fixture is, which may be relevant. My guess, given the relatively low power consumption of LEDs, is that the driver circuitry isn't rated to handle the additional current load. You might see internal fuses blown or simply device failure. – isherwood Jun 18 '18 at 18:43

Since these are individual 120V bulbs rather than a transformer/driver with low voltage DC bulbs, the rating is based on heat. It could be the design can dissipate 6W without a problem but the certification (hopefully UL or similar) was based on tests at 4W. Only the manufacturer of the fixture could honestly tell you if 6W is OK.

My hunch is that unless this is a totally enclosed fixture that 6W would be fine. But I can't guarantee that. There are two risks:

Minor: Shorter bulb life Major: Fire

Not worth the risk. 5 minute test no problem but leaving on unattended has a small but very real risk. If there were a fire the your insurance company would not be happy to find a 6W bulb in a 4W fixture.

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